A Church for Exiles

We live in a time of exile. At least those of us do who hold to traditional Christian beliefs. The strident rhetoric of scientism has made belief in the supernatural look ridiculous. The Pill, no-fault divorce, and now gay marriage have made traditional sexual ethics look outmoded at best and . . . . Continue Reading »

The Problem of Constructive Protestantism

It has been almost eighty years since the publication of H. Richard Niebuhr’s The Kingdom of God in America and we are still talking about what Niebuhr called the problem of constructive Protestantism. This problem lurks behind the recent talk about the future of Protestantism unleashed by Peter Leithart’s initial volley. Continue Reading »

The Uncertain Future of Protestantism

Last Tuesday, leading representatives of different models of conservative American Protestantism gathered at Biola University to discuss and debate the “Future of Protestantism.” Peter Leithart, an ecumenically-oriented apostle of “Reformational catholicism” faced down Fred Sanders of Biola, a spokesman for the “unwashed masses of low-church evangelicals” and Carl Trueman of Westminster Seminary, an unapologetic representative of Calvinistic confessionalism. Those hoping for a hard-hitting debate, or a quick and full resolution of the questions, were bound to be disappointed: the three interlocutors were much too patient, irenic, and thoughtful for that. No, it was a conversation, and like almost all good conversations, inconclusive, an invitation to further conversation. Continue Reading »

Lutheran Evangelicals

Why is Calvinism so influential among American Evangelicals while Lutheranism is not? We might describe the statistically modal convert to Calvinism—that is, the most frequently observed kind of convert—as a person like this: A young adult, usually male. Raised in a broad though indistinct Evangelical (and sometimes nominally Catholic) home. Bright. A reader. Searching for better intellectual answers to questions about God, Jesus and the Bible. Is open to becoming a pastor. Why does this young man so much more often become a Calvinist instead a Lutheran? Continue Reading »

Thanking the Puritans on Thanksgiving

There’s little less fashionable today than praising the Puritans, especially for their egalitarian political idealism, their promotion of genuinely humane and liberating learning, and their capacity for enjoyment and human happiness. Praising the Puritans is especially difficult for us because . . . . Continue Reading »

The Many Worlds Adiaphora or Heresy?

Two well known strands of Protestant theology are the Calvinist and Arminian. There are a number of differences between these two schools but one of them keys on soteriology (salvation). Calvinists would hold that once a person is saved, he is always saved. Arminians dispute this idea. Consider the . . . . Continue Reading »

A Pastoral Standpoint

I have no idea how long ago I received my review copy of Abide by Jared C. Wilson, but it has had me on a guilt trip every since it came in the mail box.See: Jared and I sort of met because we both started blogging at Evangel, and I think we weren’t supposed to like each other. He’s a . . . . Continue Reading »